The Chesters were one of the leading African American families in 19th century Harrisburg. George Chester [d. October 17, 1859) operated a restaurant with his wife Jane Marie [d. March 19, 1884) at North Third and Market Streets. The Washington Restaurant was noted in Harrisburg where one could find abolitionist newspapers, good company, and good food.
Several of the Chesters' children made names for themselves. Thomas Morris Chester (1834-1892) was a lawyer, Civil War journalist for the Philadelphia Press and colored troopers recruiter. His brother David was one of the first African Americans elected to the Philadelphia City Council. His obituary says he was a worker for the Underground Railroad. For the Chesters, the Underground Railroad was a family activity.
A state historical marker on Harrisburg's Market Street honors T. Morris Chester and his family.